Date: TO : The File Susan Ahmed, Ph.D., Associate Executive Director Directorate for Epidemiology Russell Roegner, Ph.D., Director Hazard Analysis Division, EPHA Joyce McDonald, EPHA Toy-Related Deaths and Injuries, Calendar Year 2000

November 5, 2001





This memorandum provides information on toy-related deaths and injuries reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that occurred during the January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2000 time period. DEATHS Seventeen toy-related deaths were reported to the Commission that occurred in 2000. 1 The toys involved in these fatal incidents were as follows:
Reported Toy-Related Deaths Calendar Year 20002
Type of Toy/Cause of Death TOTAL Riding Toys, excluding Scooters (Drowning, Motor Vehicle Incident, Brain Injury) Scooters (Motor Vehicle Incident, Fall) Toy Balls (Asphyxia due to Choking) Balloon (Aspiration) Small Ball from Toy Caterpillar’s Antenna (Asphyxia due to Airway Obstruction) Half of a Spherical Plastic Toy Container (Suffocation) Toy Building Block (Aspiration) Marble (Aspiration) Large Stuffed Bear (Suffocation) Toy Box (Mechanical Asphyxia)

# of Deaths 17 5 3 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

This compares to 16 deaths reported for 1999. However, these numbers do not represent a sample of known probability of selection, and they may not include all the toy-related deaths occurring during the 2000 time period, in part because reporting is not complete for some data sources. 2 These data are based on reports from the In-depth Investigation file, the Injury Incident and Potential Injury file, the Death Certificate file and the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System for 1/1/2000 to 12/31/2000.

CPSC Hotline: 1-800-638-CPSC(2772) H CPSC's Web Site: http://www.cpsc.gov

Victims of the 17 fatal incidents ranged in age from 4 months to 7 years old. Fifteen of the fatalities involved male victims. The cause of death in 6 of the 17 fatalities was choking or aspiration. Two children choked on small toy balls. Other toys involved in the choking or aspiration deaths were a balloon, a small ball from the end of a toy caterpillar’s antenna, a toy building block and a marble. Four of the riding toy and scooter-related fatalities involved motor vehicles. The products in those fatal incidents were two scooters, one tricycle and a powered toy motorcycle. Two children drowned; one rode a low slung tricycle into a swimming pool and the other rode a battery-powered tricycle into a pond. There were two suffocation deaths. One suffocation death involved a plastic hemisphere that had been half of a toy container and became lodged over the victim’s nose and mouth. The other involved a large stuffed bear that was found on top of the victim. The remaining fatal incidents were due to head trauma, mechanical asphyxia and a fall injury. The severe head trauma incident occurred when a riding mower was backed over a child on a plastic play tractor. The mechanical asphyxia occurred with a toy box. The fall fatality was attributed to a scooter. (Further details on all 17 toy-related deaths can be found in Appendix A, attached to this memorandum.)

In 2000 there were an estimated 191,000 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms. There was a rise in estimated toy-related injuries from 1999 to 2000. The increase from 1999 to 2000 can be primarily attributed to a rise in injuries associated with unpowered scooters (i.e., from 3,281 injuries in 1999 to 42,505 injuries in 2000). The injury estimates for the years 1996 to 2000 are shown in the table below.
Estimated Toy-Related Injuries 1996 to 2000
Calendar Year 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 Estimated Injuries 140,700 141,300 153,400 152,600 191,000 Adjusted Estimated Injuries4 130,000 141,300 153,400 152,600 191,000

Seventy-nine percent (150,800) of the injuries for 2000 were to children under 15 years of age and 37 percent (70,900) were to children under 5. Overall, males were involved in 61 percent of the toy-related injuries. Most of the victims (98 percent) were treated and released from the hospital.


The source of these data is the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), which is based on a statistical sample of hospital emergency room treated injuries. 4 The NEISS sample was redesigned beginning in 1997. The estimate for 1996 has been adjusted to be comparable to the 1997 through 2000 data.


Forty-seven percent of the total injuries (90,100) occurred to the head and face area, which includes head, face, eyeball, mouth and ear. Arms, from shoulder to finger, accounted for 24 percent of the injuries (45,900), while the leg and foot area accounted for 18 percent (33,500). The individual body parts having the most injuries overall were faces (43,500), heads (22,800) and fingers (13,000). Lacerations, contusions and abrasions were involved in over half of the total injuries (52 percent). Riding toys (including unpowered scooters) continued to be associated with more injuries (65,000) than any other category of toy. In 1999, riding toys (including unpowered scooters) were associated with an estimated 26,100 injuries. Riding toy injuries overall have more than doubled from 1999 to 2000 due to the rise in unpowered scooter-related injuries.


Appendix A

Toy Deaths CY 2000
Document Date Age/Sex City/State Type of Toy Narrative

1 000414CCC2445 X0030792A 0048017924 X0083517A 2 C0095009A 000127CCN0077 G0010370A X0010237A 3 0048010688 X0073157A 4 0048030154 I0030287A 000331HCC2406 5 0012052184 N0050107A X0072876A


5 MO F

El Paso, TX

Plastic Toy Caterpillar


4 MO M

Lawrence, IN

Egg-shaped toy figure casing

2/6/00 3/25/00

2.5 YR M Austin, TX 13 MO M Victoria, TX

Balloon Ball (superball type)

Playing with caterpillar toy and swallowed a small ball that was attached to one of its antennas. Died of asphyxia due to obstruction of airway. Suffocated in his crib on a plastic hemisphere that had been half of a container for a toy. It became lodged over his nose and mouth. Swallowed and aspirated a balloon.


6 0048044863 7 X0141426A

4/20/00 4/25/00

8 000705HCC2643 5/9/00 X0062541A

9 N0050269A 5/17/00 000606HCC0728

10 010626CCC2611 6/29/00 0046003650

Child choked on a small bright green rubber ball that got stuck in his throat. Asphyxia; obstruction of airway by a foreign object. 2 YR M Boca Raton, FL Low slung tricycle Believed to have fallen in swimming pool while riding a low slung tricycle. He was found floating face up with the tricycle floating nearby. He had been riding it on the pool deck. Drowning. 3 YR M Marshall, TX Tricycle Truck/tricycle incident. Truck backed up and ran over. Traumatic brain injury. 3 YR M Rienzi, MS Battery-Powered Drowned when he drove a battery Tricycle powered tricycle into a pond at home. 14 MO M Chicago, IL Toy Building Block Placed a toy building block in his mouth and began to choke. Death was due to asphyxia from aspiration of a foreign object. 2 YR M Highland, NY Plastic Play Tractor Child approached his grandfather, who was on a lawn mower, from behind riding his play tractor and the grandfather backed up not seeing the boy. The boy went headfirst under the mower with his play tractor. The child died of severe head trauma. 4 MO M Rapid City, SD Large stuffed bear Found unresponsive in crib with a large stuffed bear lying on top of him. Suffocation caused by the stuffed animal. 4.5 YR F Vallejo, CA Toy Plastic Ball (came in pack of four and when they touch eachother or another object they light up) Decedent took the 1 and 1/8 inch plastic ball to bed with her. She was found unresponsive with the ball stuck in her throat. Asphyxia due to choking on a toy ball.

11 0006146592 8/20/00 000905CCC3406 X0083865A

12 010129HCC0261 9/21/00 X0110212B X00A4884A

Unpowered scooter Rode a scooter into moving traffic and was struck by a car and killed. Not wearing protective equipment. Concussion to head. 13 NEISS 9/30/00 6 YR M Unknown Scooter Struck by a car while riding a scooter. Multiple trauma. 14 F00C5013A 12/5/00 3 YR M Ocean View, Scooter Died the day after he fell several times CA while playing on a scooter. Found in bed unconscious. 15 010319HCC3215 12/17/00 4 MO M Laguna Niguel, Marble Brother gave victim a 1.5 cm marble X0131048A CA which the victim swallowed, obstructing his airway. Mechanical asphyxia due to aspirated foreign body. 16 010925HCC3448 12/22/00 12 MO M Puyallup, WA Toy Box Found with upper body inside a wooden 0053039306 toy box. The lid was closed, resting on his back. Mechanical asphyxia. South Plainfield, Powered Toy Struck by a car while riding on his 17 X0110121A 12/24/00 3 YR M NJ Motorcycle powered toy motorcycle.
Total=17 deaths

7 YR M

Elizabeth, NJ